How to Paint a Stucco Exterior

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Stucco exteriors are prone to color fading as the material ages and wears. Previously painted stucco will begin to crack and peel once the water vapor in the air degrades the surface of the paint. Stucco consists of a sturdy combination of cement, lime and sand. As with other cement surfaces, it allows moisture through to the insulation, wall structure and the sheetrock walls. Try a penetrating finish paint to seal out this damaging moisture.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Wire brush
  • Washing soda
  • Liquid detergent
  • Adjustable-handle cleaning brush
  • Bucket
  • Garden hose
  • Ventilator mask
  • Paint sprayer
  • Penetrating finish cement/stucco paint
  • Use a wire brush to sweep across the surface of the stucco. Place a ladder in a safe position to reach the higher areas. This will remove any loose debris and roughen the surface to prepare it for painting.

  • Mix ½ cup of washing soda (sodium bicarbonate) and ¼ of a cup of liquid detergent with a bucket of water. Use an adjustable-handle cleaning brush to wash the stucco surface. Rinse the cleaning mixture off using a garden hose. Let the stucco completely dry before applying the paint.

  • Add a cement/stucco penetrating finish paint to a paint spray unit. Turn the sprayer dial to the "on" position and spray one even layer over the stucco. Follow the directions on the paint label for the correct drying time. Keep all items away from the stucco exterior for at least a week to allow the paint to completely dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check the stucco exterior surface for holes or cracks. Repair these areas before painting. There is an excellent video tutorial for stucco repairs at thisoldhouse.com, included in Resources.
  • Wear safety glasses when working with chemicals. Wear a ventilator mask when spraying paint products.

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